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tv   [untitled]    January 29, 2012 2:18pm-2:48pm PST

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multi-tier insurance provider, reductions in home support services, eligibility for medications, medical follow ups, all of this because of medical facilities -- also do not have special assessments for seniors in these facilities. we now require the resources of the declining number of organizations, such as open house san francisco, to act as our advocate for housing, medical treatment, mental health issues, and support in social services. i have lost nearly all of my peer support group, and i am estranged from my family. the dilemma is also for what constitutes affordable housing. for all of us, there is no model, especially for lgbt seniors, especially those living with hiv/aids and what the future holds for us. thank you. supervisor wiener: thank you very much. next speaker.
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>> good morning, good afternoon peter i am pam. i am 55. and i love my city. that is why we are here. we love our city, and we want to stay. we want to be safe in our city. we have worked here, paid rent, you know, did all this that heterosexuals do, and you all know that already. i just want to say that all of us have been through a lot already, and we're just asking for help, so help us to live the rest of our lives more gentle, more loving. some of these people that i know have been through a lot. i have a friend in a hotel that has been raped and abused because she was a lesbian, the mission hotel. and i lost a friend because she had to move away. she lost her support here.
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she lost open house, which was very great. and i want to say, open house is a very, very special to me and to my friends, because without them, i would be in my home, in my closet, and diving slowly, because arthritis is very painful, but now i do not feel like i have got it because i have got a place to go. open house will help us and give you less work. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors but i am with a senior action network. i am one of the baby boomers that supervisor campos was talking about earlier. i am the youngest one in the bunch. i want to speak on two issues. we need to educate our paramedics. i am living with hiv/aids. i wrap myself a real tight to
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catch two buses to kaiser permanente 80 stand up in the cold and rain to deal with the repair and maintenance -- to deal with the paramedics that are not generous. as a transgender woman of color at 80, it is hard to work with people who cannot identify, nor tolerate, someone who is different than they are. another issue, and director, resource guide, that guides seniors to where senior services are. that needs to be upgraded to include the areas that serve the seniors and that they are lgbt senior-friendly. i have a resource guide and my desk at work. i use that regularly. but i noticed when my community members, , they want to know, are they lgbt-friendly, and i cannot tell them if they are or if they are not. so i have questions staff at the
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human rights commission. the director. we need to teach our city workers as well. because our city workers are not educated on lgbt issues, so how are we going to move forward with lgbt issues? we do not have to wait until june to do it for pride month. we need to start living for today. and today is the day and not tomorrow. thank you. supervisor wiener: next. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is isaac, a 32-year resident and merchant in the castro and proud gay man. i want to thank you, first of all, for bringing this issue to the forefront and wanting to create something such as this to deal with many of the aspects of the oppression of lgbt people as they age.
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we are the many splendor faces of an invisible minority who are coming forward so that you can see what we look like and what we need. hearing the terrible circumstances that many people have suffered as they grow older and are lgbt and seeing the film which made those issues even more emotional and deeply understood, i just want to commend you for taking on the issue. i hope that you will deal with some of these suggestions, one of which was to establish, if you will, a bill of rights for lgbt people, which clearly is sorely needed. again, i thank you for paying attention to this issue, and i hope that you will advance it and bring it into a deeper reality. thank you. >> thank you, supervisors.
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i am a member of the lgbt advisory committee of the human rights commission. i wanted to thank all the supervisors for understanding how important this issue is. i wanted to thank sheila and adam from your steps further great work. i want to a knowledge the people who have worked so hard to bring these issues to the board, including cecilia, and gustavo, rick, michelle, steve, mark, larry, s daniel, herine, ray, amy, mark, and the staff and commission of human rights commission. supervisors, it was truly my honor to work here and city hall for susan when she was on the board. she was the first lgbt person of color to serve here, and i was extremely proud to represent her working with the lgbt community. nothing makes me more proud than to look around today and see our community coming together to do more for our seniors. this is san francisco at its
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best. we should be proud of this effort. more importantly, we should use this as an opportunity to not only take stock of what is, but to also imagine what can be. the hiv/aids pandemic devastated our community, but it also gave us the gift. we learned how to speak up and speak out. in the absence of adequate culturally appropriate services, we learned how to build a program to our community needs to survive and thrive. by taking the lead, san francisco greeted model programs that have been replicated all over the world. it is now time to take these lessons to turn our sustained attention to seniors. lgbt seniors are the people who made it possible for us to be standing here in these corridors of power discussing these issues. they created this community that we all value so highly. now it is our turn to take the lead, making life better for them. seniors thrive on hope, too, just like the rest of us. thank you. supervisor wiener: thank you.
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thank you for your work. i should have noted adam and sheila did an enormous amount of work. i will call another series of speakers. john wary, rick appleby, laurie geidis. stu maddow, larry brikennken, lauren meissner, rebecca, and david gonzales. just come on up. >> that afternoon, supervisors. thank you so much for calling this hearing.
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i am the co-chair of the democratic club, lgbt. we fully support, we talked at our board meeting last monday, fully supports the purpose of this meeting. and any and all efforts we can make to create a model approach to serving the lgbt seniors in san francisco, the alice b. toklas club would live to handle that -- help with that. we fully support your recommendations. i had the unique opportunity of cochairing the hearing by the human rights commission and the commission on aging in 2002 and the report, everyone has reviewed. it had no less than 67 recommendations. to move forward and i think while we since 2003 have moved forward on a lot of those, there is plenty of those that need to be done. i hope that you'll start with
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that and continue to push those recommendations. i think since that time, we have had an increase in marriage rights which has made us feel a little more confident about legal protections for us. certainly we have community agencies that have improved in got more resources and we're hearing a lot about that this afternoon. keep supporting those. we remain in a situation where laws, prejudice, and poverty hit seniors the hardest. especially the poor women and people of color in our community. many of us do not know what we will do when we get old and not have family helping us. we're going to absolutely need the city and county of san francisco to come up with a model that does not yet exist to help us through the end of our lives so they are dignified. that is it.
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>> i am executive director at disabled community -- disabledcommunity.org. i have to tell you that there are many of us that are excluded from programs in our city. which -- we're not included because we're younger than the age of most people getting social security. in 2006 i had a more feigned pain pump implanted in my side which made it impossible for me to return to work. i pursued a master's degree in gerontology and tried to return to work at the places like
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onloc. friends of the elderly, and the jewish home. many of our nonprofits are not getting enough support from the city. even though they're getting grants. many people do not know what the left hand and the right-hander doing. many do not know if their clients are being served by their agency and five other agencies. there is no database that tracks. as far as what i would like to see, i am involved with the lgbt community partnership and we focus on serving people with disabilities as well as aging and what i would like to see is a congregant meal program at the
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center. because i would feel welcome there. i will not feel welcome going to a religious oriented facility that is providing meals. as a lesbian, and raised catholic, i was never welcomed in that community. i wish you would address that for our community. supervisor elsbernd: thank you. i have been a queer activists for 40 years and counting. i was part of the liberation front in philadelphia. i am proud to say that we stopped aversion therapy on gay men in philadelphia. i have been on the front lines of many battles in the clear community over many years but now face the toughest challenge of my life. growing old in a society and a
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queer cannady that provide little help for the elderly, especially those of us who are single. i'm going to address the area of housing. though some legal protections exist, far too many of us still are pushed out of our rent- controlled apartments by speculators eager to make scads of money by selling our homes as tic's. where do we go when we are displaced? where's the affordable housing for us? open house is great. even when it is built and i will fight like hell to make sure it is built in those units are open, the reality is they will not be enough. we need more than one open house. waiting lists do not cut it. no one in the city has stats on how many queer seniors there in
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the city. my guess they are 10% of the population, but who sees the queer, seniors? what about the seniors who live in substandard housing? they are afraid to complain because their landlord might retaliate and evict them. i hope that any worker that comes out of this meeting will fight for these issues for more affordable housing for ways to enforce the housing codes and for protections for seniors from eviction. we need action now. our lives depend on it. thank you. >> i am a lifelong resident of san francisco. i want to speak in support. i want to speak about the open house and what it has provided for me.
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and my partner. i have a disabled partner. open house has provided a tremendous opportunity for social interaction that we would never have had. myself and my partner, my partner is less able to interact in an open house. i intend dozens of open house activities including the man's drop in group, lunches, the discussion groups, every third tuesday. also offers opportunities for volunteer work. the really need support in obtaining a person who can coordinate volunteer services. many of us seniors would love to
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do volunteer work and who do not know where to go. they do not have the resources now and they're overworked. i am able to volunteer in some activities including longtime involvement in the friendly visitor program which has changed my life personally. bimini lgbt seniors i have met as you now live very lonely, isolated lives and open house has helped them making contact and friends with other lgbt seniors. thank you very much for your continued support. >> i am rick appleby, i am an
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intake officer. as part of my role there i co- chair the lgbt community partnership. i am glad to hear the partnership been mentioned. an unfunded -- we are an unfunded grassroots advocates that are dedicated to insuring services. we represent 163 different agencies including open house but many others that are interested in working together to help lgbt seniors. in the last few years we have posted monthly education meetings. we have had workshops on hiv and aging. we are planning a town hall on transgendered. -- transgendered issues. we will address the issues more
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forcibly and we look forward to improved services and greater support. we agree with other presenters today on all the topics and especially want to highlight the stories of the seniors that we're hearing. some of the specific comments from the partnership. funding needs to be proportionally available to lgbt seniors as a large segment of the population. we have heard city government talk about the few funds that have been put out for seniors -- given with a large percentage of seniors are, that should be a larger portion. laurie spoke about lgbt issues and those go hand in hand with aging. as these efforts of the board move forward, i hope you'll take into consideration the benefits , accommodation and services for people with disabilities. i was glad to hear we might enforce best practices in community organizations. up until now it has been
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voluntary. outreach efforts need to be culturally sensitive not just to lgbt communities but the whole variety of cultural diversity in the city. i have a little bit of information about the partnership if you like. thank you for your hard work. fifth >> i am the creator of the documentary you saw a clip of and it was an honor to be asked to you -- to showing today. it is used by governments and aging agencies in more than a dozen countries as well as the organization represented here today. the film was made in boston. i live in the bay area. i'm a resident of san francisco. i often get the question, why
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did you not make the film here? because despite all the great work going on here, despite stories of abuse and insensitivity that we have heard today and are reported that we found, we also found a widespread disbelief among many lgbt older people who we spoke with who said it could never happen here. not in san francisco. when we showed the film in the bay area i am surprised about how many people come up like one woman who said, that is sad and i am glad i live here in san francisco where that could never happen. we all know that is not the case. we have been hearing about that all afternoon. many people in this room know that there are thousands of older lgbt people right now out there that are underserved because they do not trust services. many of them are going back into the closet as we have heard because they depend or live with people who may not be accepting
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of them. it is an historic opportunity to create a city here starting today where my partner and i can say yes, we're growing older, and we're starting to need some help but it is ok. we live in a place where it will always be safe to release the ourselves and never hide our love for our lives. thank you. -- or our lives. supervisor wiener: next speaker. >> congratulations, madame delonte. -- olague. i would like to all of us consider not just what services we can provide but what kind of structural changes can we support that removed the obstacles from the beginning. i recall when this board passed
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the act against eviction. 25% were in the castro. passing that legislation was one of the most successful ways of preventing homelessness in housing and stability for the lgbt community. we now have enough history behind us to know that for the first time in 10 years, hiv infection rates went down in san francisco because we address the homelessness rates of people with hiv and aids in san francisco. the overlay is that seniors with hiv and aids are the fastest- growing portion of the hiv community. we have people who are older who do not realize they are at risk and they are acquiring hiv. there's a lot of us getting older. and it is a bell curve, a tidal wave that is right about to hit.
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i am very happy to have worked with others to ensure this moved to an affordable development. i am also 20% of the people we serve our seniors. and we are going to run out of money for our eviction prevention funds and are rent subsidy program is maxed out. where are also running out of funds for deposit assistance. halfway through or fiscal year. finally, i would like to talk to all of you about a piece of legislation that i am thinking about. called mode, which would create employment opportunities for people on social security. that i think look at us as assets and not probable -- liabilities.
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as resources for our city. supervisor wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> i am with outlook theater project. i am humbled and honored to be here and to share this microphone with my forbearers. i am here to talk about how lucky and our legacy in doing intergenerational theater programming in the bay area. we started our project, it was called the senior project inspired approximately five years ago by an article that appeared in the chronicle. it was the article that was before -- around housing for lgbt seniors and our coal flounder is -- co founders were interested in how to address this issue. we partnered with lavender seniors and older people from the east bay. we interviewed people with strong ties and roots in san
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francisco. one of the things we kept hearing over the course of workshops was that an increase in isolated that lgbtqia seniors felt. also as a result of hearing our stories we created a partnership with lyric in order to start doing some of the work with young people. rebecca and of friday of other people have been doing services outside of all look and we want to do focusing on elders. as we listened, we realize these issues are not divorced from one another. what we need in addition to all the housing, we also need intentional intergenerational programming that builds the conversation and dialogue among and between the friday of cultures and generations
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represented. we will lose our history and we will lose that story and the movement we have had moving forward. i want to end -- encourage more intention around intergenerational programming or other programs that already exist. supervisor wiener: thank you. how is retirement? >> it is great. i recommend it highly. i am retired from the human rights commission where i served for 22 years. senior manager of the lgbt and housing division. and i was the organizer of the public hearing that was mentioned with the commission on aging around the senior issues and the recommendations that we brought forth. i want to recommend the creation of a task force. that might start with the
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implementation of the recommendations in the report. they're quite excellent. we heard from a cross-section of the community and it is a great place for the task force to start. i also want to mention myself as a senior. i moved here in 1965. i am 65 years old. i want to say that i love getting older. i am proud of it. i love being an old guy. one of the reasons i love it because my generation died. hundreds of our friends and acquaintances, including myself personally lost so many people that were our support system. so many elders rely on their family and their circle of friends for their support. so many of us lost virtually all of our friends and the support systems are no longer there. we really need the support of our city and our community based organizations i love the
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training that -- the couple -- cultural competency trainers -- training. i want to stress they trainings will not do any good if the services are not there. i want to stress that we need to protect the services for our seniors. these are hard budget times but we need to be strong and make sure san francisco is not the city just for rich people to live in but all people can live in san francisco as healthy and contributing old folks in san francisco. thank you. >> i am 58. i am a long-term aids survivor. i was living in san francisco and going to san francisco state at the nadir of the aids at the nadir of the aids epidemic.
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